Worcester Snowfall, Can It Damage My Roof?
This December the Worcester and most of the West-midlands was hit hard with a heavy snow fall reaching up to 9″ in certain areas. This snow fall caused plenty of disruption across the Worcestershire area, from damaged roads, cars, trees ect. Many ask “can snow damage my roof?” Although Worcester doesn’t get much snow these days the answer to the question is “yes”. Snowfall “can” damage your roof!
How Can Snow Damage My Roof In Worcester?
Snow can damage your roof in many ways. The main cause of damage is due to the weight and lack of structural support from your roof. This is mainly on older buildings which when were built many years ago without building regulations (pre 2003). Although I’m not saying all properties built before 2003 cant withstand heavy snow.
The average snowfall across the UK and Worcester is about 6″ (15cm). The average Semi detached property in Worcester has a pitched roof of 40 degrees which is covered in slate or tile and around 60 square meters (sqm). If your property was to be covered in 6″ (15cm) of snow how much additional weight will be added? Here is a simple calculation you can use to determine this.
Snow has about 1/10th the density of liquid water, 1 litre (L) is 1000th of a cubic metre, and that 1L of water weighs 1 kg. Now from this it can be seen that 1L = 1m² x 1 mm deep.
So your the roof in question is 60sqm x 15cm (6″) is equivalent to 60sqm of water x 15cm deep. Therefore the snow on the roof of my house will have an equivalent water volume of 60 x 15 = 900L. Which will weigh 900kg.The average human weights 70Kg. 900kg divided by 70kg is equivalent to having 12.8 people on your roof at one time! Now this weight is spread across the entire roof but it can have a detrimental effect of your roofs structure over many years. This isn’t common here in UK but it has been know to cause roof to collapse under heavy loads. The most common problems here in UK and Worcester is Snow sliding of a roof onto a car, person, or lower roofs such as extensions, conservatory’s, garden rooms ect.
The average size of an elevation of a semi detached roof in Worcester is around 25sqm if we use the calculations above based on 15cm (6″) the total weight of the snow on that one elevation is a whopping 375kg, which is equivalent to 5.3 humans falling onto you. These calculations are for just a small domestic property. Think about commercial roofs which cover hundreds of square meter’s!
How Can We Stop Sliding Snow Causing Damage To Lower Roofs In Worcester?
This can be prevented by having snow guards/stoppers installed. Although the snowfall here in Worcester isn’t common its always good to prepare yourself for the worst case scenario. Snow guards are typically used more over conservatories, lower pitched roofs, driveways or anywhere which heavy fall could cause damage below. Snow guards are a metal grate installed at the bottom of the roof-line and snow stoppers are installed across the entire roofs surface area. Here is a pic of some snow guards/stoppers in action on domestic properties.Most commonly used in Worcester is the snow guard installed at the bottom of the roof-line.
Here at Layton Roofing we offer a wide range of services here:- http://www.laytonroofing.co.uk/roofers-roofing-services-contractor/
If you require a roofer in Worcester to install snow guards then please give Layton Roofing & Building Specialists a call today or contact us via our contact form and a member of our team will contact you to arrange an appointment at your earliest convenience.